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The Challenges of Upgrading SharePoint by Bosko Kacarevic
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The Challenges of Upgrading SharePoint by Bosko Kacarevic


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  • Perkins Eastman is among the top architecture and design firms in the world. We have expertise in several core practice areas—healthcare, senior living, education, hotels, office buildings, multi-family housing, urban design, and more. Over the past 20 years, the firm has expanded significantly, and sometimes rapidly. In 1990 it started as a small, New York firm – support was handled on a case-by-case basis. Need help? Just shout across the office.In 2011, we have approximately 600 employees in 14 offices around the world – now the firm has multiple complex systems (from network infrastructure and integrated software, to inter-office, inter-studio, inter-divisional teams) that all require integration and support
  • As Microsoft continues to make improvements to SharePoint with each new release, companies are being put in the position to decide on whether to stay with their current installation or upgrade to the latest version.With SharePoint Online now available and vastly improved social collaboration features, upgrading to a new platform seems like it should be an easy decision.Unfortunately, many companies go into an upgrade without fully comprehending that this is as significant an investment as their initial SharePoint deployment. Not understanding the scope of the project will inevitably lead to series of poor and costly decisions.In this session, we’ll discuss the implications of taking a SharePoint integration lightly and what considerations need to be made before making a decision that can impact the entire organization.
  • This may be an obvious question but this often gets overlooked and companies find themselves upgrading without clear purpose and reason. So as we look to upgrade to a newer version of SharePoint we should consider and evaluate the associated costs and benefits of such an endeavor. Not only should we determine the Return of Investment (ROI) of an upgrade but also what new features will the organization be able to take advantage of.
  • Your organization has answered the basic reflection questions and you’ve decided that, yes, it is time to upgrade. We’re prepared to move ahead.
  • There should be documentation in the form of outlines, manuals, presentations, etc., that go into some level of detail as to what the vision was for the original implementation. If yes, great! Carry on.In not, what happened?Were the reasons technical, was there lack of buy-in?
  • Global collection of content with intermixed items that follows the pyramid.
  • Mixture between global content, local offices, and personalized content such as department and practice area. The pyramid that we looked at a few screens ago are represented here. We may need to think of how to navigate to these items in a different manner than a conventional website. It may need to consist of a Global link with drop down navigation and once clicked the page view changes to the global level (i.e local office, role-based and individual).
  • All (or most) things have been considered and there is approval and budget to move forward. Go, but please try and keep within the speed limits
  • The concept of upgrading implies that we are taking something that already exists and upgrading/migrating it to something improved. It then is not surprising that we need to know what we have and how we are using it.
  • Managed metadata Term StoreBusiness Connectivity Service settings and all content typesBusiness Intelligence usage and settingsProject Server content and settings if applicableSecure Store Settings and Service accounts to be transferred/reused in new environment.Site Templates used: i.e. document centers, publishing, BI Centers, etc.
  • Do you have all of the source code and development files for said customizations?
  • How our data is presented to the user and what features /functionality will be afforded to them so that they can easily, safely and consistently consume the information that they need to do their job. This is where we consider how to organize content in terms what templates, functionality and features offered out-of-the-box or that which we plan to build, i.e. Communities, portals, my sites, managed metadata, social tagging, document centers, BI centers, publishing sites, general site structure, custom site templates and themes, etc.
  • As for system architecture this is where we consider how the information architecture is best served by system configurations, i.e. on premise vs. hosted vs. cloud vs. hybrid. This is also where we decide on server configurations and farm topology, i.e. how many application vs web servers, etc.
  • Survey users and study analytics.May not be a universally accepted approach, but I have found that 500 people will give you 500 different opinions.
  • Transcript

    • 1. © 2014 Perkins Eastman Architects, PC The Challenges of Upgrading SharePoint Making SharePoint Work May 2014
    • 2. Perkins Eastman  1990 = 30 employees, 1 office  2014 = 750 employees, 13 offices  Greatest concentration of employees are in the NYC office.
    • 3.  KRT includes 4 employees based out of 3 offices.  Report to Director of Communications, but are primarily independent.  KRT provides Perkins Eastman with Knowledge Management services, including:  Practice Area Community liaisons  Crosstalk  Taxonomy  Process Improvement  Learning & Development / Continuing Education  Intranet gatekeepers Knowledge Resource Team (KRT)
    • 4.  ORCHARD = Online Resource for Creative Harvest of Architecturally Relevant Discovery  SharePoint 2007  Central repository for departmental resources.  Staff directory  News  Community Sites ORCHARD
    • 5.  SP 2007 is 7 years old (49 in canine years.)  SP 2013 is new and exciting!  Mobile device-friendly  Great for collaboration  O365 is less resource-intensive  SP is familiar  Out of the box community sites.  Migration should be easy  Let’s do this! Time to Upgrade!
    • 6. Stop!
    • 7.  Is there anything wrong with what we have?  Is there room for improvement?  How much would it cost to upgrade?  Does an upgrade fit into the plans for other system upgrades?  Does it fit with the organization’s strategic goals? Basic Reflection
    • 8.  What is the driving force behind the upgrade?  What benefits must exist to justify the cost upgrade?  What new features and functionality will become available?  What features may have deprecated?  What license version do we need?  Cost considerations  Hardware  Software  Licensing  Consulting Services  Version comparison (Office 365 vs. On-Premise vs. Current Version) More Detailed Considerations
    • 9.  This is a major capital investment. (Did I say major?)  Extensive user and administrator training  Potentially impacts everyone and everything in your organization.  Ties up resources and involves multiple levels of approvals. Points to Remember
    • 10. Caution
    • 11.  Prior implementation documentation should be available. Find it and study it!  Was the vision and what was reality?  Who was part of the original team? Did that team work well together? Should History Repeat Itself?
    • 12. Mission: Provide employees with a base of operations tailored to their specific needs while accommodating the organization's need to communicate with them. Mission: enabling employees to navigate the organization, network with colleagues across silos, find and leverage expertise. Mission: enabling employees to manage their retirement funds, health benefits, and career development. Mission: enabling employees to get their daily work done more efficiently and effectively, while allowing them to share work- related knowledge. Mission: enabling employees to better understand (“become more aware of”) the organization’s mission, strategy, initi atives, etc. and enabling them to discuss and provide feedback on them. My Home Page Company & Colleagues Health Wealth & Career Productivity Tools News & Events Representative Content: • PE news and alerts • My news and alerts • Events calendar • Personalized/custo mized content and functional components • Most popular quick links • My quick links • Polls and surveys • My teamsites/project sites Representative Content: • PE mission, strategy, et hics • About Perkins Eastman • Office/location pages • Department pages • Employee profiles • Reporting structures • Communities of Practice Representative Content: • 401K data • HR and hiring policies and procedures • Online forms • New hire orientation resources • Job-related tools (pay, leave, perform ance) • Employee Handbook Representative Content: • Service/Support tools • Project management • Online collaboration tools • Applications Knowledgebase • How Do I... Ask a Question • Prospect and client management • Reference materials Representative Content: • News about CB • Industry news Industry trends analyses • Master events calendar • Event and news submission • Industry/member surveys • PE News Archive Original Vision
    • 13. Click to edit title Location
    • 14. Proceed
    • 15.  We have decided to move forward.  The catalyst was Hurricane Sandy.  Phase I – Office 365  Phase II – SharePoint  Phase III – Data connections Hurricane Sandy
    • 16.  Evaluate internal capabilities.  Create logical and strategic partnerships.  Understand the internal team’s strengths and weaknesses.  Look at current vendor relationships as candidates.  Look at other vendors. Assemble the Right Team
    • 17.  Establish team governance, guidelines and expectations.  Develop definitive roles and responsibilities.  Create a Team Site and provide everyone with access.  All communications and documentation to go through team site.  Project Schedule  Project Plan Team Kick-off Meeting
    • 18.  Start with a thorough inventory, not design!  Provides a blue print of what we have and this will assist in designing the future environment.  Prevents features and functionality from being overlooked.  Ensuring that the final product provides value to the business. Inventory Current Environment
    • 19.  Current Information Architecture: How the content is generally organized?  Current System Architecture: farm topology in terms of servers, development vs production environments, application pools, web applications.  Inventory of current functionality & features enabled and used  Inventory of current content: Site Collections, Sites, Lists, and Libraries. What to Inventory
    • 20.  What custom solutions or features have been developed, outside of the Out-Of- Box functionality of SharePoint, including:  Web parts  3rd Party Tools  Integrations with other systems  Custom Branding  Custom Site Templates  Data Structure  Workflows & Server Controls  Event Handlers  Large Lists  Sandbox Solutions What to Inventory - Customizations
    • 21.  When we think of information architecture we should think in terms of:  Data presentations  Features and functionality  Content organization Information Architecture
    • 22.  So when deciding on an information architecture we should consider the following:  Usability – Who’s the audience? What makes sense for your users? Are things organized in a way that is intuitive?  Security – What security requirements does your organization have? This Intranet, internet vs. extranet  Maintenance – From IT perspective how much maintenance is your organization willing to perform. This could also include total cost of ownership, implementation, etc. Information Architecture - Questions
    • 23. System Architecture
    • 24.  Substance over style (for now).  What do people want on the home page?  Leave the look and feel to the experts. (With the exception of branding and corporate style guidelines.)  Keep reviewers to strategic few.  Understand that SP 2013 is not SP 2007. User Interface Design
    • 25.  Some general steps to take for any migration:  Clean up environment before upgrade  Use a trail upgrade to find potential issues  Communication plan  Migration plan: details new architecture, plan for dealing with customizations, sets duration for locked source content, sunset plan and back-out / recovery plan.  Lock content and functionality on source and target  Migrate content to mapped location on target  Recreate or reorganize content as necessary  Validate migration  Open permissions on target Migration Strategy and Deployment
    • 26.  Besides a good communications plan, every migration would benefit from having the following plans:  Back out plan – Specifies the necessary processes required to restore a system to its original state.  Sunset plan – Once a migration has occurred, the outcome should be monitored by stakeholders, business analysts, and IT in order to validate and confirm soundly that everything migrated as planned. This is key to ensuring the sunset plan can be initiated followed by the training and adoption plans.  User training plan – Enough can’t be said about developing a comprehensive, but digestible training plan. Training is your best form of marketing and the only way to build champions.  Adoption plan – Upgrade must align with organizational goals and make sure that there is a strong customer service/support model in place. Migration Strategy and Deployment
    • 27.  Enough can’t be said about the importance of not only user training, but IT staff training. Particularly if you’re jumping from SP 2007 to SP 2013/Office 365. Training, Training and More Training
    • 28.  Make sure the upgrade is necessary.  Align with organizational objectives.  Create a strong implementation team.  Hold people accountable.  Identify and learn from past mistakes.  Communicate throughout.  Make sure you know the product! Simple Conclusions